Blog Posts vs. Articles: Length and Point of View

http://www.freelancewritinggigs.com/2010/01/blog-posts-vs-articles-length-and-point-of-view/

Picture 6We’re going to take a break from the 5 days, 5 Ways to Enhance Your Writing Skills series and answer a freelance writing question I receive pretty regularly. “What’s the difference between a blog post and an article?” In many ways they are the same and much of the information featured here can apply to both. There are, however, important ways they differ:

Length

Most blog posts are short – between 200 – 300 words. They may be longer, but the majority of posts are designed to give you information quickly before you lose interest – almost like a commercial. Blog writers know they only have so much time before most readers move on to the next item in their feed reader. Topics that require more time to introduce and develop are often turned into a series of blog posts.

Articles fall into two different catalogs: articles for the web and articles for print. Both are longer than blog posts – typically beginning at 500 words. Articles for the web, like blog posts, lean toward getting to the point of the piece. The paragraphs are shorter and there is more ‘white space’ within the article. This style is pleasing to the eye for online readers.

Articles for print can be as long as the editor desires. These articles allow a writer to delve deeper into a topic with multiple sources, in-depth information and plenty of room for anecdotes and subject development.

They vs. You

Blogs posts are definitely more flexible when it comes to point of view. Writers can refer to themselves, speak directly to the readers or write in the third person. On the flip side, a traditional article avoids the use of ‘you’ and ‘I’ is frowned upon. The idea is  once you insert yourself in the piece you take the spotlight off the subject matter and place it on yourself. There are exceptions to this, of course, and first person accounts are found in publications regularly, often in specific departments.

Next up: Blog Posts vs Article: Audience Expectation & Format

Related Posts from the Freelance Writing Jobs Network:

Blogging rules you should follow and rules you can break – by Jennifer

Minor Rant: A Blog is a Blog and a Post is a Post – by Deb Ng

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